Ice Cream Cake with Cookies, Chocolate and Vanilla Whipped Cream

Welcome to ice cream cake heaven! Layer upon layer of goodness. I made this cake for Luke's 14th birthday (my goal was to outdo Dairy Queen!) and it was a huge success. Starting from the bottom, here are the layers: chocolate ice cream, Double Stuff Oreo cookies, semisweet chocolate chips, vanilla ice cream, a chocolate "shell", and homemade vanilla whipped cream. Each decadent bite is creamy and crunchy; simply a dream come true. Although there are many layers, each one is easy. And since you work in stages (freezing layers as you go), there's not one big time commitment. Plus, you can make the cake well in advance, which is always a plus.

To prevent a mess in your freezer: I'm giving you this tip because I learned the hard way. Some of my chocolate ice cream layer dripped through my springform pan before it had a chance to refreeze. Cleaning the counter wasn't the problem; cleaning the inside of my freezer was (I had to pull out my freezer drawer, which felt like 100 pounds, to scrub the bottom). To avoid the mess, wrap a piece of foil around the bottom of your pan.

For the whipped topping: I realize you may be tempted to buy store bought whipped cream or non-dairy whipped topping. I was a little tempted too - but I'm so glad I made the whipped cream layer from scratch. The topping has just 3 ingredients, and they're beaten together (all at once) to create a spreadable/shapeable whipped cream. And, because it's actual cream, it freezes beautifully.

Tips for slicing an ice cream cake: Use a hot, dry knife for the cleanest cuts. Between each slice, dip your knife in a glass of hot water and wipe it clean with a towel.

Leftover cake? No problem, wrap the cake in press-n-seal or plastic wrap and freeze for up to 1 month. You'll want to have that cake stashed - when sweet cravings strike, it'll be just steps away.

Ice Cream Cake with Cookies, Chocolate and Vanilla Whipped Cream

1/2 tablespoon butter
1.5 quarts chocolate ice cream, softened
16 Double Stuff Oreo cookies, chopped
2 tablespoons mini semisweet chocolate chips
1.5 quarts vanilla ice cream, softened
For the chocolate shell:
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil1 cup heavy whipping cream
For the vanilla whipped cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Colored sprinkles

Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
Spoon the chocolate ice cream into the prepared pan and spread out in an even layer.
Top with the chopped cookies, and press the cookie pieces in gently.
Top with chocolate chips. Freeze until firm, about 30-60 minutes.
Spoon the vanilla ice cream over the cookies and chocolate chips and spread out in an even layer. Freeze for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
Invert the cake onto a plate (not the serving plate; just something about the same size as the cake). Release the sides of the pan and remove the pan (the bottom will still be on top of the cake). Remove the bottom of the pan from the top of the cake (if it sticks, place a hot towel on top for a few seconds).
Place a serving plate on top of the cake and flip it over, turning the cake right side up.
To make the chocolate shell, in a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa, maple syrup and coconut oil. If the mixture is thick, warm it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Whisk until glossy and smooth. Using a small spoon, drizzle the chocolate mixture over the vanilla layer (it will harden almost immediately). Return the cake to the freezer while you make the topping.
To make the vanilla whipped cream topping, use the whisk attachment of your mixer and beat the cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla (on medium-high speed) until firm peaks form.
Transfer the whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a star-shaped attachment (or any attachment you want) and create rosettes or other decorations on top of the cake. Top the cake with the sprinkles.
Freeze until ready to serve.
Serves 8-10